CDC director urging teen vaccinations, citing new report

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is urging teenagers especially to get vaccinated against COVID-19, ahead of the release of the weekly CDC statistical report on the virus.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky spoke in a White House press briefing Thursday, saying the week’s CDC report will “force us to redouble our motivation to get our adolescents and young adults vaccinated.”

She’s already calling for teens to get vaccinated and for parents with questions to talk to their child’s doctor, local pharmacists or local health departments.

“In the month leading up to the recommendations of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines for teens and adolescents 12 and older, the CDC observed troubling data regarding the hospitalizations of adolescents with COVID-19,” said Dr. Walensky. “More concerning were the number of adolescents admitted to the hospital who required treatment in the intensive care unit with mechanical ventilation.”

The Indiana State Department of Health has recent numbers published to its website. For positive cases by age, two of the highest age groups getting sick in are infants to age 19 and people in their 20s.
Together they make up about 34% of new daily cases.

(Provided Photo/ISDH)
(Provided Photo/ISDH)

COVID-19 virus-connected deaths still follow the documented trend of affecting those age 60 and up the most. Child deaths happen, but account for 0.1% of daily deaths.

The Pfizer vaccine is the only FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine approved for children 12 and up. You can get one at several pharmacies and clinics, including Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health.

As for when a COVID-19 vaccine will be available to those younger than 12, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, provided a hopeful goal.

“We hope, as we approach the end of this calendar year, we’ll have enough information to vaccinate children of any age. So, I’m cautiously optimistic we might be there by the end of the year,” he said.


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